Length: 1282 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)
Espionage is the secret gathering of information on rival countries for military purposes. Espionage can be used in business, military, economic or political decisions however; it is commonly employed government for defensive tactics. Espionage or spying is illegal in many nations however, it gains profits from agencies to protect the secrecy of information that is desired.
Espionage is an old ancient craft; it has been used through out history. The Bible’s book of Joshua (The Old Testament) states that the leaders secretly sent out spies to reconnoiter a country. Also the Chinese Military theorist Sun Tzu’s, who wrote a book The Art Of War written in 500 B.C, provides instruction for organizing an espionage system with agents and defectors also known as rebels. Homer a Greek philosopher who wrote “Illiad” mentions the Egyptians had a well-developed secret service and spying agents. During the middle ages Joan of Arc , the world renown female spy was betrayed by Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beavais, As a result Sir Francis Walsingham developed an efficient political spy system for Elizabeth I. During the American Revolution, Nathan Hale and Benedict Arnold achieved their fame as spies during the U.S. Civil War.
In the United States the CIA or the Central Intelligence Agency is the main agency for gathering secret information and responsible for operations outside the United States. The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation has the primary responsibility for counterespionage activities within the United States. Counterespionage is when a country or an organization captures a hostile spy and turns them into a so-called “double agent” who sends false information to their own organization. It prevents other nations from gaining such information. Under international law, these activities are not illegal, but individual nations have laws against spying. However, spies are not considered with common or uncommon criminals. They are neither sinners nor international lawbreakers. If spies are caught they are either send back to their country, sent to jail or used as counterespionage (double agents).
Espionage involves the recruiting of agents in local and foreign nations. Agents are encourage to have the ability of possessing information, using audio surveillance as well as the use of modern photography, sensing and other techniques and technology to gather secret information. Surveillance with high technology equipment on the ground or from high-altitude planes and satellites has become an important espionage technique.
The Qualities of a Spy
Agents are trained to have the ability of spying - the first objective is to have some sort of desired information, which requires knowing where the information is located and who can obtain it. The information can be obtained or available in a foreign newspaper, radio broadcast, or it can also be obtained by technological electronic messages encrypted in a code or by placing an agent in an area to retrieve the information. Once the information is gathered the decision is chosen how the information is supplied and how it is an advantage to them.
Today, intelligence organization recruited agents in three sources:
· First, is from the Universities, where students are recruited and are required and trained for intelligence careers.
· Second, are the armed services and the police forces, where some degree of intelligence skill is already known.
· Thirdly, agents are gathered from the underground world of espionage, which include, mastermind criminals, informers, computer hackers with an appropriate experience.
During World War I, many of the great powers except the United States had a civilian espionage system to protect them from foreign nations. As a result in 1917 the U.S. congress passed the Espionage Statute. Since World War II the use of espionage has increased dramatically. Especially between the United States and the former USSR. The Soviets created the KGB (the Committee for State Security), which acted as the secret police force. In 1947 the United States created the CIA and seven other intelligence-gathering agencies. One of the famous women spies is a Mata Hari, who gathered information for Germany by seducing French officials in the Second World War.
The increase of modern communications and technology encouraged an easier way of gathering information in the Second World War. Some of the benefits in Word War II were actually intelligence and counterintelligence wars of spying. World War II was fought on the basis of intelligence and espionage tactics. For example, the British used counterespionage and captured German spies in Britain during the war and turned them into double agents, which sent false information back to Germany. Also, the surprise attack of the Japanese on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor was a success to the Japanese intelligence agency on December 7th 1941. It is an example of good espionage tactics for the Japanese and a humiliation to the United States Navy and the United States Secret Service.
Today, many governments maintain some kind of intelligence agency as a survival tool in a world where dangers and uncertainties still exist. For example during the Cold War, espionage was a very important factor for many nations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Even though, the cold war has ended, hostilities and wars still continue in many parts of Eastern Europe, the former USSR, the Middle East and Africa. It is important for nations to have some sort of intelligence organization for protection against other nations if there is an attack.
Today’s communication technology and computer devices aid the development of efficient espionage techniques. The development of miniaturized cameras and microphones has made it easy for espionage agents to photograph and record documents. The use of satellites has a function of aerial photography for the purpose of detecting military secrets around the world and able agents to view anything around the world. Espionage provided the incentive for development of such devices and gadgets that have been developed, such as miniature telephones, photographs, miniature electronic listening devices and recorders. For example, a miniature microphone no bigger than a match head that can be placed anywhere.
At present, the United States and most western countries have the largest amounts of research and data analysis colleted from observations form different nations. Countries for example the US, Russian, China, French, Iraq etc. should continue the use of espionage for the benefits of their nation and for military purposes/protection and vulnerability of the country
Current Event – April 2001
China is a Third World Country. It has a GDP of $3,800 and spends 15 percent of the Pentagons annual budget on its armed forces. It is a developing capitalist society. China is going through a massive, painful transition from an agrarian to an industrial society. In the recent years it has a huge social stress and demonstrations against the United States. However, China fears for its military weakness. Ever since the Gulf war, Beijing has been worried that its rusting armed forces is no match for the stealth warfare of America. So the Chinese has been studying low-tech methods of battling a high tech army. The Americans believe that China is not a threat however it is unstable against other countries. Thus, this leads the Americans to watch and listen at the Chinese. The greatest problem for America is the communist regime in Beijing and will look for growing social unrest to have an open opportunity to spread communism.
One of the biggest headliners earlier this April is the recent in-flight collision of an American spy plane with the Chinese jet fighter in Chinese air space. The American surveillance aircraft was flying over the Hainan Island in China monitoring Chinese military actions. The 24-member crew was held arrest in China, yet were released when the United States Government apologized for the crash and invasion of Chinese airspace.